Testing Young Athletes?


I got this question on my StrengthCoach.com Forum. I thought the answer might benefit some non-members who read this blog.

Question ( from a member)- I want to put a simple testing battery together to track progress and use as retention tool. This would be for 13 and under.

I was thinking of the following:
Height
Weight
10m sprint
Push ups (1min)
Squats (1min)
Chin ups

Answer – Just FYI. Test if you want to discourage business. Kids don’t want testing, parents do. Kids want to have fun and get better in a nonjudgmental environment.

I am 100% convinced that a huge part of our success at MBSC is that we don’t test. We have continued to grow our business while many of the “improve your 40 time or get your money back” places have closed down. Hate to sound too touchy-feely but this business is much more about building community and self esteem than about test results. The sooner we get that the more successful we will be.

One Response to “Testing Young Athletes?”

  1. But you do test, you use FMS, you observe athletes and make recommendations regarding increases in weights, volumes, etc. The issue here is what do we quantify? What observations are valuable enough to commit to record? I believe the answers to this question have yet to be determined. Bench Press is a valueless data point. There is very little difference between 10 yd sprints and vertical jump but he results don’t do a good job of stratifying individuals. In fact, there are very few tests used today that correlated highly with athlete selection. The science of “enjoyment” is described very well in the book FLOW The Psychology of the Optimum Experience. The author Csikszentmihaly, describes 10 characteristics that create a FLOW event. Three of which relate to assessment. Assessment is important, but don’t just measure something because it’s easy to measure. Measure what is important! If you’re measuring crap, kids will see through you in a hurry. I am personally finding that power at threshold and maximum repetitive power output have the best correlation to athletic performance and both of those can be gleaned from good workout data, and the client doesn’t know their being tested!

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